When I was done with yesterday's post (which I will admit I put together Sunday evening - late Sunday evening:) I sat down in my comfy chair to read Saturday's meditation (always a day late and a dollar short) in "In Conversation with God" and wouldn't you know it, the title of the meditation was....Cheerfulness. Sometimes God just cracks me up.
Alright, I thought, let's just see what He has to tell me about cheerfulness after I just went on and on about not being able to control myself during certain days of the month.
"The closer we are to God, the greater our share in His love and in His life. The more we grow in divine filiation, the greater and more appreciable will our joy be. Is the way I usually behave a cheerful one? Is it positive and optimistic? Do I easily lose my cheerfulness when setbacks and disappointments occur? Do I often give in to gloomy thoughts?"
Of course, keep in mind that these meditations are written by A MAN, so there is no talk of being overcome by one's God-given hormones. "Do I easily lose my cheerfulness when setbacks and disappointments occur?" Only on days when I have had my emotion-control center hi-jacked.
Let's read on, shall we...
"The family is a particularly important sphere in which we need to sow and spread great joy. The outstanding characteristic of our homes has to be the habitual smile (even though we may be tired or worried), together with optimistic warm-hearted behavior which in its effect is like the 'pebble dropped into the lake', which produces a widening, expanding circle and then another still wider; we end up creating a pleasant atmosphere in which it is easy and natural for people to live in harmony with others, and in which, in a habitual way, a fruitful apostolate can be carried out with our children, our parents, our brothers and sisters..."
Most days I don't have a problem accepting and living the above quote. However, on days when I am struggling to regain control and be my normal self, I find it very hard to embrace the idea that I have to retain that "habitual smile". In fact, I don't even think about the fact that I should be smiling, so caught up I am in my miserableness. So I had a thought during Mass this morning that the best way to overcome this problem is with a pre-emptive strike.
In an effort to follow the above advise, I decided that I will take a picture of myself when I am smiling, photocopy it and enlarge it to lifesize and then tape it to a ruler. This way, when I am having a hard time remembering to smile, I will just hold up the picture of me the way I usually am so as to continue to create "a pleasant atmosphere in which it is easy and natural for people to live in harmony with others".
Ha, I'm just kidding. The thought that did come to me during Mass this morning did involve a pre-emptive strike, but more in the form of a prayer, not a picture. I figure if I write out a prayer ahead of time and put it in a spot where I will see it, then all I have to do when I feel myself getting hi-jacked is to run to the card and do my best to pray my prayer. Maybe even pray it over and over again. I have no doubt that help will come to me, even if I have a hard time at first meaning what I am praying. The key here is to be ready ahead of time. There is no way that I could come up with this in the middle of a PMS day.
Therefore, I will call upon the aid of our Blessed Mother and beg that she sends me the grace I need to "make the way lovable for others, and easy, since life brings enough bitterness without our adding to it".